A Florida court has ordered a Florida Burger King franchisee to pay nearly $8 million to a man who said he slipped and fell in the restaurant’s bathroom, seriously injuring his back.
According to court records, Richard Tulecki, 48, suffered “serious injuries” in 2019 after he slipped on a “wet foreign substance” and fell at a Burger King in Hollywood, Florida, CBS News reported.
According to court documents, Tulecki’s injuries required surgery which ended up having complications, leaving Tulecki with a post-operative perforated colon, the law firm representing Tulecki said in a statement.
Tulecki won his suit against the Burger King franchise, and a jury awarded him $7.81 million in damages – nearly $700,000 for past medical expenses, nearly $1 million for past pain and suffering, $2.77 million for future pain and suffering, and $3 million for loss of future earning capacity, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The award was later lowered to $7.68 million, taking into account that Tulecki’s insurance had already paid around $200,000 of his medical expenses.
Tulecki said the fall forced him to stop working.
“Delivering this verdict to our client means everything,” said H Ross Zelnick, one of the personal injury attorneys representing Tulekci. “Our client suffered tremendous hardship due to the Defendant’s negligence. While no verdict could undo those damages, it will provide him and his family with the resources to move forward.”
The Burger King franchise operator, Seven Restaurants, has filed a motion for a new trial. According to Seven Restaurants, Tulecki’s lawyers failed to present sufficient evidence that the restaurant’s management knew the bathroom floor was slippery.
The motion called the $7.8 million award “clearly excessive,” Fox Business reported.